This fall, we plan on doing more to protect the environment and our community by implementing a number of new sustainability practices—our first step to becoming a more eco-conscious company.
Read on to see our (condensed) list of everything new coming to Everest, beginning this August.
By the end of this fall, our prospective worm farm should be complete. This will be supplied by all of our leaf clippings from pruning the plants on the farm. It also has the potential of being fed by a lot of the food waste that comes from the staff, and a huge chunk of paper waste/packaging waste as well.
Currently our soil is created and provided to us by Soilutions. Soilutions is a local business that creates their soil by diverting food and green waste from New Mexican businesses, grocery stores, restaurants, florists, hotels and more. Their “living” soil is rich in nutrients, water retention properties and billions of living microbes in each handful. Not only does this help us conserve water and grow healthy plants (tying into our next point), it takes waste out of our landfills! To date, Soilutions has diverted 42,769,981 lbs. of food waste (and counting) from our landfills.
Water conservation is one of the many perks that come with no-till or soil food web growing, the grow method Everest already uses at our farm in the North Valley. The amount of organic material and humates that occur in our Soilutions soil means that water is retained at a greater capacity than in most media (such as rockwool, coco coir, or peat moss).
Our sister crops—like radishes, pumpkins, and basil, which are grown alongside our cannabis plants—also help conserve water by breaking up the soil, allowing water to flow through the soil easier and reach our cannabis plants faster. Their leaves also shade the soil, keeping it from drying out quickly in the New Mexico sun and allowing us to stretch time between waterings. When they’re ready, our sister crops are harvested and donated to communities in need and food banks across the state, on behalf of the nonprofit organization Food is Free Albuquerque.
The majority of the time, Everest relies on natural sunlight to grow our cannabis, which helps us conserve electricity. We are also planning on upgrading the lighting in our greenhouses and hoops to LED lighting, beginning with our new, state of the art propagation lab. Once we move over to LED lighting and away from traditional HID lighting, we will save a further 25%-30% of the electricity we use.
HVAC System Upgrades
We are also planning upgrades to our HVAC system in our propagation lab, which cools our building and keeps it at a set temperature. It will constantly run at a consistent amount of low power, rather than having to hard-start (turn all the way off and back on), which uses much more power. With these upgrades, our system will be up to 40% more efficient.
We have recently begun a recycling program at our farm and for our dispensary staff at our original location, Everest – North Valley. Go Green Recycling will be the company who services all of the recycled material we produce at these sites. If the initial run of this program is successful, we will be implementing recycling into all our Albuquerque locations.
We also have plans to kick off a customer appreciation program for recycling and/or reusing our packaging. Ideas are still on the drawing board, but we’re making it a priority.
Our packaging is currently undergoing complete redesign using more efficient and sustainable methods. We are also relocating much of our printing business to local vendors to reduce our carbon footprint and support the New Mexico economy.
We understand that there will always be more we can do to conserve energy, water, and other resources, and to protect and support our planet and community.
Have any suggestions for us? Shoot them over to us here.